25 July 2016

Vacation Style



I spent the last week at my grandparents' house in the country, and it was a much-needed break!  They live in the country amongst fields and pastures, and one of my favorite things was to sit out on their patio and peruse some new-to-me vintage magazines.  



I love the fashion illustrations!  And while it's always the fancy dresses that inspire awe, sometimes it's the casual looks that get you through the day.  That's what inspired this particular vacation look!  I absolutely love the "soft & sexy" t-shirts from American Eagle Outfitters, the only things I've ever bought in their store.  They're, as labeled, super soft and the drape is nicer than the average t-shirt.  This black one is a staple for me, especially since the length is a tiny bit cropped and perfect for my shorter torso.  (I think this one on the site is the one I've got... mine may be a bit more fitted, though.)


I paired this comfy t-shirt with some flats and my 1930s khaki clam diggers.  I took these photos with only basic makeup on and wrinkles in the trousers, true to vacation laziness!  This is real stuff right here, folks!  

While I do totally love my yoga pants, this vintage-y look is my midway point of effort between them and full-out vintage garb.  I'm sure ladies back in the day had similar looks because everyone needs a chill day.



What's your boring-but-fantastic, sort of vintage-y relaxation style look like?  Or do you, like a lot of us, just swing from yoga pants to full-out vintage depending on the day?

20 July 2016

1940s Ford & Floral

Flashback Summer: 1940s Ford & Floral Dress

Flashback Summer: 1940s Ford & Floral Dress

A couple weeks ago those of you who follow me on IG gave your input and said I should use my tropical rayon with this 1940s pattern.  You spoke, and I listened!

Flashback Summer: 1940s Ford & Floral Dress

But sometimes sewing doesn't go as planned.  Sometimes you do a muslin test of a pattern you think is going to be so easy that you really consider it just a formality of being a "good sewist," then it epically fails.  Then you try another muslin, sure this time it will work, and it turns out to be worse than the first. 

At this point in the story I pulled a CeeLo and told that stupid muslin, "FORGET YOU!"

Sometimes you just have to go balls to the wall (in the aeronautical sense) and just cut into the fashion fabric and hope for the best.  (I've got sewing details on this pattern in the post with a TLDR summary at the bottom!)

I realized after cutting into my fashion fabric that using cotton muslin as a test for a rayon garment just doesn't work well.  The cotton behaves differently than the rayon, and the fitting adjustments I made on the cotton were not necessary on the rayon.  My cotton muslins were far too roomy at the waist, by about 5-6 inches, in fact.  I tried to combat this with bringing in the side seams and back darts, but it ended up looking stupid with the kimono sleeves and looser fit of the shoulders.   BAH!

Flashback Summer: 1940s Ford & Floral Dress

Flashback Summer: 1940s Ford & Floral Dress

For my fashion fabric, the only adjustment I did to the pattern was to shorten the shoulder/bodice length by about 7/8".  My torso is a bit shorter than the average person's, so I figured this would be a good tweak.  The length of the pattern in this area also accounts for thick 1940s shoulder pads, a detail I did not consider when making my cotton muslins but did indeed remember in time for the fashion fabric.

Flashback Summer: 1940s Ford & Floral Dress

The pattern also advises that 2-3" be added to the skirt length for a hem, but since that's usually the amount I remove from a pattern, I just cut it out as it was.

Luckily.... it worked!  The dress has turned out well, though it did involve only one major alteration to the fashion-fabric version I made: I still needed to bring in the waist about 7-8" at the side seams, for there was almost no waist shaping in the pattern at all!  It went almost straight down from bust to hips with very little curve, and I looked like a terrible 1980s tropical shmoo.  I removed the zipper and brought it in about 4" on each side, tapering out to the slim the hips just a tiny bit below and adjusting the bust only as necessary to smoothly meet the curve from the waist.

Flashback Summer: 1940s Ford & Floral Dress

I made shoulder pads about 3/4" thick, hemmed the dress and let it hang on a padded hanger for a few days to "shape" the shoulder pads correctly.  Then I wore it for the first time yesterday!  

I paired it with a Muchana Panama hat I fancied up with some red yarn pom-poms, blue Swedish Hasbeens, vintage earrings... and a 1940 Ford!  

Flashback Summer: 1940s Ford & Floral Dress

This is my grandfather's prized car that he built and restored.  Back in his crazy drag-racing teenage years, my grandpa had a 1940 Ford.  He ended up selling it to pay for the hospital bill when my father was born.  A few years ago my grandmother surprised him with boxes full of old car parts... that when put together would make his '40 Ford!  I've never seen my grandfather so happy as when he got those boxes of parts.  He has since built the car, put a Mustang flathead motor in it and gotten it all shined up.  It looks awesome, and he was more than happy to let me borrow it for a shoot.  (You also saw this car in my wedding photos!)

Flashback Summer: 1940s Ford & Floral Dress

Flashback Summer: 1940s Ford & Floral Dress

I got a lot of compliments from non-vintage-wearers when I wore this, which kind of surprised me.  Shoulder pads usually earn me some strange looks, but the compliments I got with this ensemble was, "I love the details in it. Clothes don't have details like that," and "Wow, you look fantastic! What a lovely dress!"  I think that's pretty great.

Flashback Summer: 1940s Ford & Floral Dress


Here is a summary of the pattern details and things I changed:
Fabric: modern rayon, red tag fabric from Joann 
Pattern: 8142 (not sure of the company...)
Year: 1940s war era is my guess!
Notions: 6 buttons, zipper. I also used light interfacing around the neckline.
How historically accurate is it? Pretty accurate as far as fiber content of the fabric and silhouette.  
Any tricky parts to the pattern? The complete lack of waist shaping!  That required major adjusting, and I took at least 7-8" out of the waist.  The point at the back can be a bit trick to line up correctly, but it does wonders in accentuating the bum nicely!
Did you change anything?  I didn't add extra for a hem, just turned it up where the pattern ended.  Took a lot out of the waist, too, as I talked about above.
Time to complete: two days
First worn: 17 July 2016
Total cost: The fabric, I think, was about $15.  The buttons were about $3, and the zipper was from my stash. The pattern was a gift from a lovely friend!
Notes: The drape of this pattern really requires a heavy, draped fabric like rayon. I can't see it working at all with quilting cotton and looking right.

So what do you guys think?  How did it turn out?  Feelin' good about the crowd's pattern choice?

18 July 2016

Summer Fun with Temple Towels

Flashback Summer: vintage swimsuit fashion, Temple Towels

One of my favorite parts of summer is being on the water.  Living in Missouri, we obviously don't have beaches, but we do have a lot of lakes and rivers.  Float trips are my absolute favorite, and lounging in the sun next to a beautiful lake vista isn't bad either!


Flashback Summer: vintage swimsuit fashion, Temple Towels

Flashback Summer: vintage swimsuit fashion, Temple Towels

Another part of my fun, as far as lounging goes, is lounging glamorously. We all love the vintage photos of ladies in the sun with their beautiful beach ensembles, and I want to bring more of that into my life.  A fantastic swimsuit and comfy towel are integral parts of that! 

Temple Towels sent me this towel to review and one to give away to you guys.  I wanted to check them out for myself before recommending them to you, and I'm happy to say this towel passes my vintage outdoor glamour test with flying colors!  It comes in a cotton drawstring bag, and the texture!  These towels are some of the softest I've ever felt. They're fluffy as all get out, to the point where I may consider transitioning it to a lap blanket when winter comes.


Flashback Summer: vintage swimsuit fashion, Temple Towels

Flashback Summer: vintage swimsuit fashion, Temple Towels

The particular design I chose is the Ziegfeld Swirl towel, and I like how the design is almost like a mobile photo backdrop.  Now some fun for you guys, a giveaway! 

To find out the details of the giveaway and to enter, check out this post on Instagram.

The giveaway ends on next Monday (July 25th).  Good luck everyone! 


Flashback Summer: vintage swimsuit fashion, Temple Towels

Flashback Summer: vintage swimsuit fashion, Temple Towels

Outfit Details
swimsuit: Old Navy (several years ago)
hat: thrifted
shoes: OLL
towel: Ziegfeld Swirl, Temple Towels

This towel is compliments of Temple Towels, as well as the towel I'm offering as a giveaway for you guys.  The opinions shared are my own, though! For more info you can see my policies page.